I just received a shocking piece of news: the Easy-Bake Oven, storied toy from my childhood, will be no more. Or, at least, no more the way it was. And we have energy-saving tree-huggers and politicians to thank for it.
As you may know, incandescent light bulbs are going the way of the dodo, with the United States adopting more stringent energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs (the standards will be phased in from 2012-2014) . Though incandescents aren’t being outlawed per se, it is unlikely that they will be able to meet those new efficiency requirements (roughly 25% increase in efficiency), effectively banning the general purpose incandescent lighting that most of us use.
But, sadly, it’s that very energy-inefficiency (i.e., wanton and blatant heat production) of a standard 100-watt incandescent bulb that allowed the Easy-Bake oven to work its magic and cook those tasty little cakes.
Fact of the day: Approximately 90% of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is emitted as heat, rather than as visible light.
According to a recent press release from Hasbro, Inc., maker of the Easy-Bake Oven,
“We are aware that the 100-watt incandescent light bulb will no longer be available beginning in 2012. In Fall 2011, Hasbro will launch the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven, introducing a new way to bake for the next generation of chefs. This new oven features a heating element that does not use a light bulb and offers an extensive assortment of mixes reflective of the hottest baking trends for today.”
“Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven”. Whatever. It’s no fun if there’s not a chance of getting second-degree light bulb burns.